Minamata

Poem By Elizabeth Russell

I remember seeing a photograph of a mother
Holding her daughter -
In a town called Minamata in Japan
Where mercury had been dumped into the water
And this little girl had been born
With birth defects
So severe
That they paralysed me for a moment
But her mother’s face
Shone with the type of love
That could only have been
Reserved for a child who had
Exceeded, achieved, excelled, saved, loved
But this child was
Unable to speak, think, respond
Or move
Her hands clawed
And her face -!
But her mother’s face revealed
A love and compassion so infinitely pure
That it eclipsed
Her daughter’s disability
I wondered at the time
What kind of love did that?
That just by looking at this photograph
My heart could fill with a longing so desperate
That it took my breath away
I had never seen that look before
But I know it now
I see it on my face

Comments about Minamata

How true it is that it takes one mother to recognize that transcending love on another mother's face - child's abilities or lack of them notwithstanding. It is the purest love there is, and I think God looks at us the same way, with a love that is all forgiving and loving. Wonderful, pure, clear work that touches me so deeply. Linda
You know Elizabeth, it is the simplicity of your work that I love. You make it look so easy but you are a very tallented poet and I am truly envious of your ability. I must do something to attract more attention to your work. I will see what I can do. Kind regards Gypsy


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My life was brightened
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The Drunk

I wasn’t always a drunk
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Which she found - in a bottle

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The icy, menacing ocean that once tried to lure me
To seek solace from my pain
In its dark, grey, churning waters
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Peter

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Makes me feel whole
Encourages me
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The Surfer

Even though the sand was littered with pumice stone
And the waves too small
and sparse for the
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